The World’s Funniest Belly Flop

by Tim Hart | Jan 27, 2022 1:54:00 PM

This Old Memory Still Makes Me Chuckle! 

When I’m trying to decide what to write about in this newsletter, one thing I do for inspiration is review all of the goofy holidays coming up. There are a boatload of them, ranging from National Personal Trainer Awareness Day to National Cream Puff Day. (Ironically, those are both Jan. 2.) I don’t actually write about these weird holidays very often, but this month, one of them caught my eye: Jan. 24, aka Global Belly Laugh Day. 

I immediately chuckled to myself when I read it, because it reminded me of a day in high school that still makes me laugh. It happened years and years ago, but it’s still one of my best memories with one of my best friends. Thanks to me finding these weird holidays on Google, you get to hear about it! 

First, let me set the scene. When I was a teenager, I went to Mariner High School, and every year, the baseball team fundraised by throwing a bass fishing tournament. On this particular year, my friend Travis Smith and I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, when we showed up, we realized we were a bit outclassed by everyone else. 

There we were: two big teenagers in a 10-foot aluminum johnboat with a tiny little trolling motor. 

And there they were: grown adults sitting in shiny, decked-out bass boats! 


There were at least 30 boats on the water, and every one but ours was worth $40,000 apiece. The hilarity started when the announcers began listing off boats. One by one, the bass boats roared to life and sped off down the canal and into Lake Okeechobee. The first 11 boats sounded like lions. Then, they got to boat number 12. 


My Jon boat’s battery-powered trolling motor shrieked in protest when I cranked it. With 500 pounds of dude in the boat, it “took off” at about 3 miles per hour! Travis and I could hear our friends laughing from the shoreline as we putt-putted away, and we were cracking up at just how out of place and unprepared we were. 

The lack of preparation didn’t stop there. By 8 a.m., we’d eaten all the lunch we packed and were still starving. We were only half a mile from the ramp, but our stomachs won. We pulled over at an orange grove and snagged around 10 oranges apiece. For the next 30 minutes, our “fishing” consisted of floating down the river, laughing, and stuffing our faces with fruit. We left a mile-long trail of peels!

Oranges in water-1

After a while, we spotted a bridge that looked like a good spot to fish, but we didn't have an anchor. Looking around the boat, my buddy Travis had the brilliant idea to pull out the motor’s battery, tie a rope around it, and set it on a ledge built into one of the pilings. It was about 40 pounds, so he figured it would hold us in place. 

I was sitting in the back of the boat while he got the whole thing ready. He picked up the battery and leaned waaaaay out over the water, stretching his arms to reach the ledge. For a second, everything froze. Then, the boat started to flip! It launched Travis into the air, and he flailed around up there like a cartoon for a good 2 seconds before splashing down in a belly flop. 

I laughed so hard I almost joined him in the water! Of course, once I could breathe, I had to help pull the battery back out of the 15-foot-deep water. At one point, my dad zoomed by in his bass boat, and we were so embarrassed that we hid! By noon, we gave up on fishing completely and headed home four hours early, soaking wet, shivering, and practically crying from laughter.

I still can’t think about that day without cracking up, and I hope you got at least a bit of that enjoyment from reading about it. I have to bring the story up to Travis at least once a year to keep us both humble. 

Happy Global Belly Laugh Day!

Born and raised in Southwest Florida, I have been in the Mortgage business since 2001 I'm a grizzly, battle tested mortgage veteran. I am also the Host of Rates & Reels, which is the most popular fishing show in Southwest Florida, hosted by a guy named Tim. In my spare time I love spending time with my family, coaching baseball, and anything else my kids or wife want me to do. I would be happy to help you or someone you know with any of your Mortgage needs.

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